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“Vanille”: An Ode to Guadeloupe, Nature, & Our Childhood Spirit by Guillaume Lorin (vegan), Part 1 of 2

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Guillaume Lorin was born and raised in Guadeloupe, a French Caribbean archipelago, where he was surrounded by nature and Creole mythology. In 2020, having worked for years in the animation studios Folimage and Cartoon Saloon, he finally directed his first short animation, “Vanille,” a vibrant and colorful modern-day tale set in much-loved Guadeloupe.

The little Parisian girl, Vanille, has freshly arrived in Guadeloupe, and plunges into an adventure tinged with mystery. “It was more of an encounter with nature, to go deep into the forest. I really wanted people to experience Guadeloupe with nature and with the people. All the people in this film are inspired by members of my family, people I know, people I grew up with. All this is to allow the public to meet the strength of the West Indians, their magic, too, their spirituality, all the strength that they draw from their joy of living; after all the difficulties that our ancestors, the slaves, lived through.”

Although “Vanille” is an animation, the film includes real images of Guadeloupe’s scenery as a backdrop. There are fantastic creatures in the film. “It was important for me to show the soukounian in this film, which is actually part of West Indian folklore. I wanted to use a creature of the Creole culture to help her reconcile with this culture that she knows little of.” “In the film, he will absorb the life force of the Guadeloupean women, which is in their hair. The hair, especially in the West Indies, has a power. Vanille’s duty is to succeed in defeating this creature, so that she can give people back their hair and thus their connection to themselves. By accepting the nature of her hair, she accepts who she really is and is ready to discover herself. I think that children have the power to remind adults, Saying, ‘Hey, don’t forget who you are.’ I hope this film can do that.”
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